Japan has flocks of foreigners going there each year either for tourism or to start a new life. As is usually the case with non English-speaking countries, your best chance for getting a job will be to teach English. Also, many foreign companies have offices in Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, etc.), so, with some slick networking, you might be able to convince your employer to get relocated to Japan. Also, if you manage to get a job in Japan, I will be very jealous of you because I like sushi.
Below is a selection of resources for searching for employment opportunities as a foreigner in Japan.
General Job Search Engines and Classifieds
With the sites below, you can expect to get a 0.5 to 1.0% response rate (people who will respond back to you to whom you sent your application/CV.) Nevertheless, I encourage you to give these sites a try as you never know what you will come up with or what connections you can make from a simple e-mail or application.
- Japan Guide: If you follow the appropriate links on Japan Guide, you will turn up quite a few job postings in Japan.
- CareerJet: I’m sure you know CareerJet. They are a mega international job search engine.
- Indeed: I’m sure you know Indeed as well. It is another mega international job search engine.
- DaiJob: Comprehensive multilingual job listings.
- Job-Net: Ugly interface but has a ridiculous number of jobs in Japan.
- GaijinPot: This site doesn’t just have jobs…it also has listings on apartments and other items of interest for expats in Japan.
- Hello Work: Hello Work could use a facelift on the interface like a lot of the sites I have mentioned in this article. However, the job postings are plentiful and solid.
- Tokyo Connections: TokyoConnections rates the major job search sites for Japan.
- Learn4Good: Learn4Good has a good portal for jobs on a number of levels.
- Career Cross: Career Cross has bilingual job results in Japan.
- Japan Times: Japan Times is the job search arm of the Japan Times.
- Japan Recruit Net: Japan Recruit Net has a simple Indeed.com style interface.
- Riley Guide: Handpicked sites that enable you to search for employment in specific countries and/or regions around the world.
Teaching English will be your easiest option (if you are a native English speaker that is). All of the sites below are pretty similar and have a massive amount of teaching English job options. Browse through each of the sites for any Japanese job opportunities. Also, be sure to check out this cool table from the International TEFL academy that shows how much money teachers can expect to make in various countries around the world.
- The Jet Programme is well known and is run by the Government of Japan. I actually know a couple of people who have participated in it. Essentially, the Jet Programme is designed for foreigners who want to come to Japan to participate in cultural exchange. Most of the positions in this program are for teaching English, but if you’ve got some good Japanese skills, you might be able to get jobs doing other things.
- The Matador Network tells you How to Get a Teaching Job in Japan.
- Jobs in Japan: Jobs in Japan has a horrendous 1990s HTML style interface but the content and job postings are solid.
- ESL Employment: Not the most beautiful interface, but who needs a pretty website when you have so many English teaching job options to choose from.
- Total ESL: Also an overly busy interface but a wealth of job postings for teaching jobs abroad.
- ESL Cafe: Dave does a great job in compiling some of the best job openings from around the world.
- Tesall: Big teaching jobs aggregator.
Thoughts of Other Bloggers and Websites
- Erica breaks down the steps for getting a job in Japan in her post “How to Find a Job in Japan.”
- Take a look at this informative post from GaijinPot: “The 3 Big Jobs You’ll Do in Japan.”
- Japan Talk lists “14 Jobs in Japan for Foreigners.”
- Guillaumeerard has a thorough post about “How to Find a Job in Japan.”
- Transitions Abroad has a thorough post with useful links for living abroad in Japan.
Overseas and Expat Job Portals
- Michael Page: An international executive recruitment website that I’ve used in the past. This site is targeted towards high-end job seekers.
- eFinancialCareers: My favorite search engine for finance jobs on the web. I used them during my Wall Street days. They are limited for Japan though.
- Overseas Jobs: I find that there is often significant overlap between the postings on this site and that of other sites. Nevertheless this site has been around for a while.
- Go Abroad: I’ve always been a fan of GoAbroad. In fact, on the visa information portion of my website, you will find where I have linked to their global embassies directory. They have a good job portal too.
- Career Builder: These guys have been around a long time. A pretty good site to check out but not the best of the bunch.
- Linkedin: Last but not least, this huge professional social network is a resource for building contacts in the field and location of your interest.
There you have it. The best places to find jobs in Japan as a foreigner. For information on visas for Japan, be sure to check out my Japan visa page. If you are single and are looking to spice up your dating life, check out my reviews of the best dating sites in Japan.
Visa Hunter Jobs: Check out Visa Hunter Jobs, a site that aggregates job listings (mainly teaching jobs since those are the easiest to get as a foreigner) from the top sites around the web so you don't have to go from site to site.
Worldwide Moving Guide: Everything you need to know in order to plan your move to 65+ countries around the world.
Worldwide Jobs Guide: Be sure to check out my posts on how to find jobs in any country in the world.
Worldwide Apartments Guide: If you are interested in renting an apartment in this country, take a look at my articles on how to find an apartment in various countries around the world.
Worldwide Dating Guide: Also, check out my posts on the best online dating sites in 60+ countries around the world.
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